Most Renters Say, “I’m My Brand.” But What’s the Best Recipe for Communicating You?
Branding is a process. While it involves a name and a logo, your decor and even how you dress, it’s really a way of differentiating yourself in a manner that’s consistent across all channels, including your website and promotions, social communications and client experiences. Do it right and your clients become your ambassadors.
Says Todd, “My colors are black, white, pink and gold, and my salon decor—from the chairs and coffee mugs to the wall art and tools—includes my brand colors. Right now, I am dressed in my brand colors from head-to-toe.”
But Todd doesn’t stop there: Her blog covers all the ways to be glamorous and her website’s visitors can sign up for a free E-book on healthy hair. She authored her own book entitled “Glam Over,” and she holds and promotes events like “Wine Down Glam Up,” a women’s charity fundraiser that included wine, how-tos and her own book signing. With a consistent message, she attracts exactly the glamour girls she wants as clients and then makes them ambassadors. On her Facebook business page, her client’s testimonials are posted in “Testimony Tuesday” videos.
Consistency and Flexibility
At Ruth Burton Hair Designer (iStudio Salons, Orlando, FL), Ruth Burton says her resume is her brand. The winner of several international hair competitions promises “award-winning hair.” She talks up her experience and her renowned mentor, Ann Bray, who at the age of 70 did hair for “The Hunger Games.” As a stylist who is over 50 years old, Burton says doing this helps her keep all her classic-style clients and attract younger women who want funky colors.
“When I talk to clients, I share that competition hairdressers have a higher skill level and have done all the latest looks the average consumer hasn’t even seen yet,” says Burton.
Using a clever branding tactic to remind clients that they should continually update their own styles, Burton combines vintage and modern influences in her suite. Mainstays include a peacock wall sticker, retro chairs in teal and a Marilyn Monroe wall quote. Other elements vary, and when clients comment on the change, Burton turns the talk to hairstyle changes.
“I regularly change the curtains, vases, wall artwork and floral arrangements,” says Burton. “Most of the changeable elements are modern and fun. My cards, website and social posts consistently reflect the way I personally communicate. Everything I do tells clients that I spent 20 years competing and that I can create all the latest looks.”
Another Orlando-based iStudio Salon renter, Frankie Rosado, chose an eponymous business name, Hair by Frankie Rosado, like most suite renters do. From there, he aimed to express his essence.
“Branding is just an extension of yourself,” says Rosado. “It’s putting your personal style into a logo, color palette and theme. I think a lot of people try to be too trendy and create something that doesn’t reflect them. It’s important to be yourself and let your brand express it.”
Rosado’s suite is inspired by vintage and industrial influences, and showcases woods and metals. He carries out the feeling of comfortable cool on his Facebook page and other social accounts, which he continually updates. Recently, he says, he updated his logo because brands should be consistent but evolve with the times.
Finding and Honing Your Brand
Many renters say there are no rules to suite branding: It’s simply who you are. As a result, suite decor often reflects the individual and the rest eventually finds its way into being. For example, at Endz Salon Studios in Medina, OH, Brandie Brock says Brandie Brock Beauté developed organically.
(Endz Studios were created by the owners of Salon Rootz specifically to offer employees and others a studio-rental option.)
“My brand is continuing to evolve,” says Brock. “My style is very ‘Free People with a J-Lo twist.’ It’s laid back and seamless with the right amount of sexy.”
Brock describes her suite’s decor as “shabby chic with a comforting rustic vibe.” She lets her work do the rest of the talking on her Facebook business page and social media.
If like many suite renters, you have the decor of your dreams but aren’t sure how to brand yourself from there, what do you do next? Start by asking, “What’s my story?” Then, ask yourself, “Who are my clients or what type of clients do I want?” Now, how you can combine who you are with who they are in a single, consistent message that sets you apart? If you can describe it in one sentence, you’ve got it! Apply that message to every element of your business, and communicate it every day. Before you know it, you’ll be a brand onto yourself.